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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  September 12, 2012 1:00pm-3:00pm EDT

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this hour the cnn hughes room, we are looking at all angles in the death of u.s. ambassador to libya. the on-line film clip that sparked rioting in two embassies and the life of the ambassador himself. light get to it. cnn has learned in the past few minutes that u.s. officials now believe attackers in libya did not specifically target the u.s. ambassador to libya, chris stevens. targeted or not, ambassador
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stevens was killed along with three other members. me they planned to hit the consulate in benghazi, and were waitinged for an opportunity to strike. that opportunity came in a street riot last night. here's secretary of state hillary clinton today. >> he risked his life to stop a tyrant, then gave his life trying to help build a better libya. live at the state department now to ellise. first of all, to the new information we are getting here because this is very rare. we understand for an ambassador to be killed by terrorists. does it change how people feel about what has happened at the state department that people's dear friend and colleague that he was not targeted, but this was something of a tragic accident? >> suzanne, i think the halls of the state department really are mourning right now everybody. chris stevens was someone that was well known to everybody.
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effects one of the most pop lash -- popular people of the foreign service. if you hear about one random person -- not to make light of their death, but one random person killed in a rocket attack, but this was someone that everyone in the state department knew. he was a very public figure, and right now everybody trying to make sense of what happened here and not only dealing with the death of a dear colleague, but trying to move ahead. i've talked to many officials today who said i just feel sick. i'm trying to just hold it together so i continue to work. this is someone who worked in some of the most dangerous places m world and probably knew the risk 1r068d. why did he do it? >> did he it because i just spoke to just one senior official. he did it because he loved the work. he really thought the mission of the united states to help these fragile countries move ahead, start anew, that's what he really loved about libya. from the time that he was working to restore ties with the
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libyan government to being an envoy to the opposition and helping the rebels on the ground in benghazi, to now becoming the u.s. ambassador to libya, he really was someone that felt it was really important to kind of -- the democratic values and need to build proper institutions and try and have a peaceful stable country. >> we understand that he was really regarded in some ways as a hero to the rebels and the people in benghazi in particular. how did he feel? how comfortable did he feel moving around in libya? >> he felt very comfortable. that's what a lot of people are talking about today that maybe he felt a little too comfortable. chris was someone that felt very at ease in benghazi. he knew the area well. he knew the country well. so he might have not -- he might have felt a little bit more immune than some other people would to his safety because he knew so many people of different ilks in the country, different tribes, different groups,
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different civil society members, that he really felt at home in libya. >> i want to play a little bit of secretary of state hillary clinton and how she laid out her feelings about what happened. >> today many americans are asking, indeed, i asked myself, how could this happen? how could this happen in a country we helped liberate in a city we helped save from destruction? this question reflects just how complicated and at times how confounding the world can be, but we must be clear-eyed even in our grief. this was an attack by a mall and savage group. not the people or government of libya. >> going to get back to you,
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ellise. quick moment. i want to jump in here. this is vice president joe biden speaking live in dayton, ohio, about this tragic incident. >> to make us safer at home, to make us safer at home. the katdz to which they dedicate their lives and gave their lives, democracy, partnership, tolerance, stands in sharp contrast to the values of those who callously took their lives. let me be clear. we are resolved to bring to justice their killers. [ applause ] >> and we will work -- we will work with the libyan government and our other partners to do just that. there is no place in a civilized world for senseless murder like occurred last night. ambassador stevens and his colleagues are not only mourned by americans.
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they're also mourned by the vast majority of the libyan people who they fought for, whose freedom they helped accomplish. as always, americans must be steadfast, resolved, and committed in the face of such horrific events. we never have been and we will not be run off, period. that's not who we are. we're determined to redouble our work that those courageous americans have begun and make sure -- make sure -- that their objectives are met. our nation needs women and men. >> the vice president weighing in on the attack in libya and the consulate to the white house rose garden earlier today. president obama also weighing in on this saying in no uncertain terms that justice will be served for those responsible for the death of the four americans.
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>> the word must stand together to unekwifically reject these brutal acts. already many libyans have joined us in doing so, and this attack elizabeth break the bonds between the united states and libya. libyan security personnel fought back against the attackers along side americans. libyans helped some of our diplomats find safety, and they carried ambassador stevens' body to the hospital where we tragically learned that he had died. >> senior u.s. military sources are telling us that they are going to send unmanned airplane drones into the skies over benghazi, libya. their job is going to be to look for camps used by extremists and other targets that could be connected to the death of u.s. ambassador chris stevens and the three other americans. christian amanpour joins us. you have been covering this region for decades now. when you, first of all, hear the news that it looks like this
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could be the work of an organization that preplanned an attack, but defendant's exhibit necessarily target the ambassador using the protest as a cover, if you will, on the anniversary of 9/11, what do you make of that? >> well, suzanne, obviously what happens is completely unjustified, and nobody can make any excuses for that attack on the american facilities, and it's really interesting to know, though, and all of us who have been there know that the popularity of the united states is very high in libya, is actually quite unprecedented. according to the latest polls, higher than 50%. that is because they thank the united states, as well as britain and france, for leading the effort to liberate them from muammar gadhafi. so we're still trying to piece through all the conflicting bits of information, but the latest information from u.s. intelligence suggesting that this was preplanned, at least the one in libya also suggests
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that the united states and others have been noticing an uptick of al qaeda activity in that area. also in iraq for that matter. particularly in the benghazi area, which hasn't fully yet come under control of the central libyan government. libyan government leaders were very, very quick to condemn what happened, the killing, the death of ambassador stevens, and the other three american diplomats. called it cowardly and criminal, and said that they would be hunted down. as you know, the united states has said, president, secretary of state, that these killers will be brought to justice. very important to know that this is not a sort of anti-americanism all over libya that's at work. it's a small group of militants and extremists. the same thing happened apparently in egypt. >> explain to us because this was a big question that we had earlier this morning before learning the new information about the ambassador ms group. perhaps not targeting him, but explain what was that about, the
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protests, the outrage in libya and egypt against this film, this american film that was critical of the prophet muhammad? >> well, suzanne, you know, the problem is that there's still so many unknowns. who exactly is this filmmaker? who is this sam? we know that he has spoken to the press by phone. he is apparently in hiding. he says himself that this was designed as a condemnation of islam. he called even after these attacks in libya and in egypt that islam is a cancer and that this was designed to condemn islam. he apparently had been warned that this t could cause the kind of uprising, explosion of popular sentiment in the region that we've seen. in the past, for instance, when harry jones, the pastor from florida, burned that xw uran and then, in fact, did. over 2010 and 2011 there were real disturbances and deaths.
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they did it deliberately. now, it seems that in egypt this had been taken by a mullah there, himself an extremist, and used and fanning the flames around this. prepares the same thing happened in libya. we're still trying to figure out, was it a coincidence? there was a protest outside the libyan embassy or rather the consulate in benghazi. was there a preplanned attack? how did those two events meet so, we still don't fully know that, and we're waiting to hear more on suzanne that, but certainly that film and the trailer which is on youtube played into the very hands of those extremists who take any opportunity to fan the flames. we've seen that happen time and again. >> thank you so much. good to see you, as always. we're learning those who killed ambassador stevens may have used the protest as a
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saying a prom clamation is a mark of the respect for the memory of john christopher stevens and american personnel killed in the senseless attack on our facility in benghazi by the authority vested in me as president of the united states, by the constitution, and the laws of the united states of america, i hereby order that the flag of the united states shall be flown at half staff at the white house and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations on all naval vessels. the federal government of the district of columbia and throughout the united states and its tafr toerz and possessions. snl sunset september 16th, 2012. that from president obama and you see the picture there as the flag has been lowered to half staff at the white house. deputy interior minister says the attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi was retaliation for an on-line film produced in the united states that protesters consider offensive to islam. we are now learning, however, that the attack might have been planned in advance with the
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protest used as a diversion. i want to bring in nick roblgtson who covered libya for years. joining us from london. nick, first of all, what are you hearing about who was responsible for this attack and whether or not it was premeditated? >> there's a certain amount of evidence that seems to speak to the fact that there was an amount of premeditation here. it's not normal for libyans to go to any kind of demonstration carrying rpg's, taking heavy anti-aircraft machine guns with them. the facts that we do know late last year al qaeda's leader ayman al zahiri sent a top level libyan jihadist to set up an al qaeda training camp in the east of libya. he did that. government officials have confirmed to me his name, the name of a number of others who have operated camps in june this year there was a -- the leaflets left behind by the group that attacks said that they were doing this in retaliation for u.s. drone strikes in pakistan,
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afghanistan border. targeting the number two in al qaeda. little else was heard about him after that. there was no confirmation of his killing. yesterday the leader of al qaeda states in a video for the first time that abu yaya is dead. this libyan number two is n al qaeda is dead. he calls on libyans to kill americans in libya. he has already established training camps inside libya. the libyan government has been able to shut those down. this is the background to this attack. were these al qaeda operatives involved precisely? we don't know, but there are concerns that they may well have taken advantage of this protest that was outside the consulate in benghazi, suzanne. >> nick, why haven't we heard any statements of responsibility? if this is an individual who
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warned the u.s. and said they were going to attack again -- >> this particular group, this is a brigade dedicated to who we know is the blind cleric, who is jailed in the united states for his 1993 involvement on the attack of the world trade center have claimed previous responsibility. they are believed perhaps to be behind it this time. the claims of the responsibility have come forward so far and sort of broadly been dismissed by libyan officials and by others. there are many different sort of islamist groups in various parts, some of them small various parts of libya. there are believed to be 200 to 300 hard core islamist fighters. that according to libyan government officials i talked to some june. they also told me at that time that the u.s. united states
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flies drones to monitor over some of those camps to monitor them. this goes back to june earlier this year. that was never confirmed by u.s. officials, but that's what libyan officials told me. >> sure. >> the claim -- no firm claims of responsibility by name so far. >> nick, i'm a little bit confused about one point here. if this is a place, the consulate, where u.s. officials knew there was a security problem where it had been a know attacked before, why didn't we see more stringent security and better -- that this facility was better protected when the ambassador was there visiting? >> i think a lot of other diplomats in libya are probably asking themselves the same question. in the same week that the u.s. consulate was attacked at the 5th of june earlier just a few months ago, the british senior diplomat, i believe the ambassador, was targeted in his car while visiting benghazi. quite a complex attack, machine gunfire, rocket-propelled grenade. two of his security staff were injured. the red cross have had their offices targeted in the same
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area. other diplomats and other organizations had taken quite string ebt security measures, i believe. there were no more british diplomats in benghazi. so it does raise that question. was the security at the consulate sufficient enough on september 11th when on the previous occasion, the previous attack on the consulate, on the 5th of june, the people that attacked it said this they knew the ambassador was going to be there in june, and they probably had adequate -- perhaps had adequate knowledge he was coming on this particular occasion. that also is -- would be a concern. >> sure. sure would. nick robertson, thank you so much. appreciate it. a 15-minute movie trailer sparked outrage in egypt and might have served as a cover for the attack. the u.s. consulate in libya. we're going to talk to a new york imam why that video made extremists violently angry. great shot.
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row tests against the u.s. and egypt were apparently sparked by anger for a movie that ridicules the prophet muhammad. it's not the first time an attack on islam has been met with such an angry response. we saw scenes like this in 1998 -- 1988 to 1998 after fatwa
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was issued against salman rushdie. allegations of qurans being desecrated in gun mow bay, and protests also in 2005. demonstrations and death threats against a danish cartoonist for drawing an image of the prophet muhammad wearing a bomb. just last year muslims in afghanistan rioted after florida pastor terry jones burned qurams. earlier this year there were deadly protests in afghanistans when word got out that american soldiers had accidentally burned qurans at a u.s. military base near kabul. faysal abdul is from the american society for islam advancement and the author of "moving the mountain." thank you for being with us. if you can explain to us why the response, why the outrage, the kind of response and reaction that some muslims feel when they
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know and feel that the prophet muhammad is being criticized and even insulted? >> thank you, suzanne. it's great to be with you again. muslims are taught to love the prophet muhammad more than their ownselves, so we respect the prophet very, very highly, as you respect all prophets, including jesus and moses who we regard to be our prophets. you'll never see a muslim insulting any prophet, and because most of muslims in the traditional world have a very strong sense of honor and attack upon the prophet is considered an attack upon their personal honor. i understand the sense of outrage and hurt and anger. however, i have a message for my fellow muslims in all these countries. the koran is quite specific in saying that no soul shall be responsible for the sins or crimes of another. this is repeated repeatedly in the koran, and, therefore, as much as this film is horrible and i happen to see it's disgusting, it's deeply
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offensive and intended to offend people, it is not the right response to attack people and to kill people who are innocent of this particular crime, so the attack against the embassies and the attack against the ambassador are to be condejed. i condemn them. muslims condemn them, and to note that they are not in keeping with the principles of islamic principles of justice. secondly, islam is a faith that has a rule of law. no individual can take the law into his own hands and to be both the plaintiff, the judge, and executioner of a particular decision. in leet of the fact that certainly the majority of muslims are not reacting in any kind of violent way against these kind of things, but why do you suppose there is such a small group that continues to respond in such a violent way? >> well, unfortunately, we have
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extremists in our midst everywhere. as i pointed out in the book that you just mentioned, "moving the mountain" the real battle front is not really against muslims and the west or muslims and jews and muslims and christians. the real battle front we have today is between all the moderates against all the extremists because the extremists fuel each other. you know, terry jones does something, and the extremists use that as an excuse, and by doing that they maintain this vicious cycle of extremism, feeding extremism. we who are the vast majority of muslims and christians and jews and atheists, et cetera, have to really get together and coalesce as moderates against these extremists who are creating these problems for all of us all over the world. this is the battle front we have to wage today. >> quick question to follow here. do you think if you were in egypt, you were in cairo at the embassy there and you saw this angry mob of people, do you
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think the u.s. officials, do they respond the way they should have by closing the embassy down, evacuating it in anticipation of the protests that were happening? do you think their response was the right one? >> well, i don't know exactly what they -- what they did, but, of course, their safety is paramount. again, the vast majority of egyptians and vast majority of libyans are grateful and should be grateful to america for having helped bring about democracy, helped removing, you know, the authority tarn regimes of hosni mubarak and muammar gadhafi in libya, and we are grateful, so i'm offend bid this did hes incarceration of our embassy and desecration of the american flag. we should be expressing ourselves as sproesing gratitude to america, to the american people, to the american muslims that have been very robust in their attempts to help our
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government advance the cause of democracy in that part of the world. >> all right. appreciate your perspective as always. thank you. good to see you. >> thank you, suzanne. >> sure. mitt romney quick to criticize the obama administration for not expressing outrage over the killing of ambassador stevens fast enough. we're going to take a look at the timeline. don't forget, can you watch cnn live on your computer, while you're at work. [ rosa ] i'm rosa and i quit smoking with chantix. when the doctor told me that i could smoke for the first week... i'm like...yeah, ok... little did i know that one week later i wasn't smoking. [ male announcer ] along with support, chantix is proven to help people quit smoking. it reduces the urge to smoke. some people had changes in behavior, thinking or mood, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions while taking or after stopping chantix. if you notice any of these stop taking chantix and call your doctor right away. tell your doctor about any history of depression or other mental health problems, which could get worse while taking chantix. don't take chantix if you've had a serious allergic or skin reaction to it. if you develop these stop taking chantix
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the attacks on u.s. compounds lead to dualing statements in the u.s. presidential campaign. mitt romney is standing by his line of attack against the obama administration. >> a terrible course for america to stand in apology for our values. that instead when our grounds are being attacked and being
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breached, that the first response to the united states must be outrage at the breach of the sovereignty of our nation. an apology for america's values is never the right course. >> governor romney -- >> here's the background on how this all played out. before the attacks u.s. embassy in cairo issued a statement that the romney camp says apologized for anti-muslim activity in the united states. it said "the embassy condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of muslims, as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions." well, that prompted the white house quickly to release another public statement saying that they -- the cairo embassy remarks were "not clear." secretary of state issued her own statement condemning the attacks. that was not quick enough for the romney campaign, so the romney campaign issued a statement saying it's disgraceful that the obama administration's first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.
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then the obama campaign responded, we are shocked that at a time in the united states of america is confronting the tragic death of one of our diplomatic officers in libya, governor romney would choose to launch a political attack. all right. want to bring in wolf blitzer to talk about all of this. you lose your breath over this kind of back and forth. well, not surprising, however, that we see this because it is two months before we decide who the next president is going to be. all the focus has been on the economy. now it's foreign policy. what's at stake? >> a lot is at stake because both president obama and governor romney, they want to show the american people that they can conduct national security in difficult times so the president has a lot riding on what's going to happen over the next two months. national security has not been a major issue so far in this election. it's been jobs and the economy. sometimes a little bit of the social issues. whenever there's a crisis, suzanne, at the tail end of a presidential election, as was the case, for example, of 2004
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when john kerry was challenging the income bebt president george w. bush, and you remember that well, and all of a sudden bin laden is releasing videotapes and all of this, that it becomes an issue, and people will take a look and see who would be the more responsible, the more powerful, the more effective commander in chief and then it becomes an issue, and i'm sure that mitt romney wants to show that he has the credentials to be dmarnd chief and the president wants to show that he would be better at that. as far as polls are concerned before these latest incidents in cairo and benghazi, polls showed that the american public was convinced that president obama does a better job on foreign policy. there it is over there. 54% think the president does a better job. 42% thinks romney. at least for now this is an issue in this campaign. >> wolf, one of the things that the campaign, the mitt romney campaign, and romney came out and said himself earlier today was that there was a dis ixz that was made here. there was a statement that came out of the embassy in cairo and then there was a secretary of state statement, and then we saw
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following the president's statement and so forth. mitt romney was asked about that, and he said that the president is responsible for the words of those that come out of the embassies as well as his ambassadors. are there some people who think that was somewhat of a stretch? >> well, you know, the executive branch of the government, the president, is in charge of the executive branch of government, and as you know, suzanne, the state department is part of the executive branch. state department has embassies all over the world, including a huge one in cairo and the u.s. embassy in cairo did issue that statement. still unclear to me when that statement was issued. it was clearly issued before the violence erupted. the real violence that we saw and the killing of these american diplomats in bengauze yea, but it's unclear to me if that statement was issued before that mob attacked the u.s. embassy in cairo, whether it was issued as the mob was attacking the u.s. embassy in cairo, as that attack and the burning of the american flag was still going on, and still unclear when the embassy in cairo released that statement.
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it is clear that the state department in washington disavowed that statement. i'm still trying to figure out, suzanne, whether the u.s. ambassador ann patterson, who is a very respected, esteemed, if you lshgs foreign service officer, career diplomat, the former u.s. ambassador of pakistan -- did she personally approve that statement, which the state department later disavowed and romney used as a sort of wedge to try to go after the obama administration? these are all questions that i think still have to be determined. we're working on them even as we speak right now. >> all right. a lot of unanswered questions. wolf, good to see you, as always. thank you. wages are shrinking again, but the port rate is getting better. we're going to take a look at why that might happen. i even wrote a play about that. my symptoms were a pain in my abdomen and periods that were heavier and longer than usual for me. if you have symptoms that last two weeks or longer, be brave, go to the doctor. ovarian and uterine cancers are gynecologic cancers.
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trying to support a family of four on $23,000 a year or less. that's amazing. that is the definition of living below the poverty line. we heard today that figure has actually gone down for the first time in a long time.
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allison is joining us from the new york stock exchange to talk a bit about this. allison, so the poverty rate dropped a fraction of a percent, right, from 15.1% to 15%. what does that mean? >> okay. so it doesn't sound like it's a lot, but, you know, it is a pretty decent drop. you know, when you look at the poverty rate overall, it has been rising since the recession started, and now you see it dip aing bit, but no doubt about it that 15%, it's still high. if any of you look at how the poverty rate has moved in the past 30 years, you see that it averaged about 13% since the census began tracking this. 11% was the low point. that was in the late 1990s. the good news is this little dip lower that we're talking about, it would be the beginning of a new trend for the better. you know, notice the small decline there at the far right side of the chart there. the poverty rate fell last year. it's not huge, but it is the first xwruchlt in four years. you know, hopefully, suzanne, that's going to continue. >> the experts actually expected that it was going to go up.
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what happened? >> well, believe it or not, more people actually got full-time jobs. during the recession, many people, they settled for part-time jobs because it's better than being unemployed. having a little bit of income coming in is better than not having anything at all. now more full-time work is actually available. it means more people made more money. it got some people out of poverty, so the poverty rate, as you can see, is tied directly to the job market. to get people out of poverty, the job market needs to get back to normal, or at least improve a lot more than it is improving right now. you can even break it down by race and see that connection. blacks actually had the highest poverty rate because they have a higher unemployment rate, so that's interesting right there. suzanne. >> how is this related to wages? >> okay. so what's happened here is that wages, there's kind of a disconnect. mother people they're finding jobs, but they're not finding higher paying jobs, so what that does is it brings down the overall income numbers so, reality is most of the jobs that are being added now are these
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low wage jobs, like in retail or in the restaurant industry. also, people who have jobs, they're not getting raises. you know, there are so many people out there competing for a small amount of work, so there's really no incentive to pay these higher salaries, so what you see happening is it shifts the bargaining power away from the employee and the job hunter and right to the employer, so also it's not just about the unemployed. you know, even people who have jobs, suzanne, they're struggling because they've got these lower wages. they're working, but they're making these lower wages, and that really is -- it makes it hard to make ends meet as well. suzanne. >> allison, thanks. preeshgtd it. we'll take a quick break. tends to stay at rest... while a body in motion tends to stay in motion. staying active can actually ease arthritis symptoms. but if you have arthritis, staying active can be difficult. prescription celebrex can help relieve arthritis pain so your body can stay in motion. because just one 200mg celebrex a day can provide 24 hour relief for many with arthritis pain and inflammation.
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diplomatic fight over china and japan over a group of islands in the south china sea is intensifying. they are both claim the islands as their own. two chinese ships have arrived near the islands to protect them. china deployed the ships after japan announced it's buying the islands from a japanese family. well, that announcement set off protests both in china and japan. the islands are believed to hold lucrative oeld oil rye serves. a number of americans without health insurance has now gone down. great shot. how did the nba become the hottest league on the planet? by building on the cisco intelligent network they're able to serve up live video, and instant replays,
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a report released shows the number of americans without health insurance has actually gone down. so from 50 million in 2010 to 48.6 million last year. want to bring in elizabeth cohen to explain this because this is good news. >> more americans are insured. fewer are uninsured. sometimes you have to put a label on it. more americans have health insurance. the major age group that caused this bump is young adults ages 19 to 25. so what this census data shows is in 2009 about 31% of young adults were uninsured. in 2011 it went down to 27% approximately were uninsured. we don't know the reasoning is behind that, but a big part of it appears to be is that in 2010 the affordable care act, obama care required insurance
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companies to keep young adults on their parent's insurance if that's what the parents wanted. you have to keep those kids on the insurance if that's what the parents want. >> do we expect the numbers to go up even more? >> yes. because now it requires everybody to get insurance. so we expect those numbers to move into the 90% area. >> so if mitt romney is elected president, what happens to the insurance picture? >> these numbers will probably look different because if he goes through on his promise, and his promise is to get rid of the affordable care act. so the young adult group, he won't tell insurance companies you have to keep young adults on their parent's insurance. he's not going to tell them that. instead he's explained he's going to institute market reforms, get more competition and insurance companies will want to keep those young adults on their parent's insurance because customers will demand it. so he's not going to require
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them to do it. he's going to make it so they want to do it. >> we'll see if the markets respond in the way he's predicting. >> you can just hope for what you want. >> thank you. no school again for 350,000 chicago students. it's the third day of a strike by school teachers and staff. the teachers walked off the job on monday in a dispute over pay and teacher evaluations. parents not happy. as you can imagine. >> i spent $240 in child care the last two days. i'm not happy about that. and i'm sure most parents can't afford that. so if the teachers really care, show me how they are taking care of my children. >> the school system is using nonunion workers to provide child care. five men face charges in an
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alleged plot to overthrow the government. the men are part of a militia group with ties to georgia. they are accused of theft and burglaries in a campaign to raise funds for their group. four soldiers were charged with being a part of that same group. those soldiers are also accused of murdering two people and planning to assassinate president obama. and it's here today apple unveiled the iphone 5. the latest version of the popular smart phone. it has a larger screen, is lighter and thinner than the iphone 4. apple sold more than 243 million iphones since it debuted in 2007. we're going to look at what people are saying on twitter. ♪
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friends of ambassador stevens have been tweeting their loss of a friend and colleague.
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one tweeted, u.s. ambassador stevens served his country with distinction and he leaves behind a legacy of commitment to democracy and freedom. susan rice tweeted, i was fortunate to work with ambassador stevens. he represented the very best of america and he was a close friend of the libyan people. and john roos, the ambassador to japan, he tweeted, i'm shocked and deeply saddened by the death of ambassador stevens. for the last few hours, i just didn't want to believe it was true. our condolences as well to his family and to his friends. cnn newsroom continues right now with doug luzadn lemon. >> i'm don lemon in today for brook baldwin. the story out of libya is now shifting. we're getting in new information as to what may have prompted mob attacks in libya and egypt and
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it may have to do more with the anniversary of 9/11 than with a movie that insulted the muslim faith. you're looking at the u.s. consulate. that's after the mob attack. it was here where four americans lost their lives. among them the u.s. ambassador to libya, christopher stevens. it's an election year and the republican candidate for president wasted no time last night almost immediately mitt romney issued a statement calling the obama administration's reaction to the attacks disgraceful. more on the politics of this a little later on. but first, we want to hear from president obama, what he to say a few hours ago. >> the united states condemns in the strongest terms this outrageous and shocking attack. we're working with the government of libya to secure our diplomats. i've also directed my administration to increase our security at diplomatic posts
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around the world. and make no mistake, we will work with the libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people. >> we should tell you that u.s. marines are on their way to libya as we speak. and now we are learning the u.s. is sending drones to benghazi. want to bring in barbara starr. how is this going to work and what are the drones expected to do? >> let me try to offer some detail here. drones over libya should not come as a surprise to anyone. the u.s. operated drones during the time of war there last year when the gadhafi regime was being overthrown. they were operated under the nato flag. we have reported here at cnn back in june that libyan officials said u.s. drones were operating over their country looking for militant targets. so when the president said justice will be done, this was the line of inquiry and we were able to confirm that the plan on the table now is once again u.s.
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recognizance droens, surveying the territory over libya, well known to be militant strongho s strongholds. we are told the idea here is these drones will conduct further surveillance, gather information, look for militant sites and try to turn the information over to the libyans and get libyan security forces or tribal elements who control a lot of that region to go after these target its. the president laid it it all out in those few words when he said justice will be done. the u.s. wants to find the perpetrators of this incident. >> let's talk timeline. how soon before they arrive, barbara? >> drones can begin flying very quickly. i think it's doubtful due to intelligence concerns that we'll get the specific information about exactly when they are up and when they are flying. but over the last 11 years since 9/11, militants around the world
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in places like pakistan and afghanistan have learned to keep their eyes on the skies because u.s. drones are a rather frequent occurrence. >> where's the base of operation? >> don't know that, don. drones can fly out of the united states, they can fly out of places in europe, they can fly from a lot of different locations. it's likely to change depending on the availability and who's up for that -- who's in the rotation for that kind of duty. just consider this. the marines, the 50 marines that are being sent to the u.s. embassy in the capital, they are coming from spain. >> keep up updated. barbara starr, thank you very much. tough talk from secretary of state hillary clinton in her condemnation in the murder of ambassador stevens, but she was also quick to blame a small savage group, not the government of libya. listen. >> today many americans are
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asking, indeed i asked myself, how could this happen? how could this happen in a country we helped liberate in a city we helped save from destruction? this question reflects just how complicated and at times how confounding the world can be. but we must be clear eyed even in our grief. this was an attack by a small and savage group, not the people or government of libya. >> want to bring in the former state department spokesman p.j. crowley. he joins us now from washington. secretary clinton not blaming the government of libya. so who can we blame and what can we do about it? >> libya is a post-conflict society. so you have a variety of groups.
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they are, among other things, heavily armed. they used them yesterday to attack the consulate. there are multiple factions in libya's tribal society and they have competing visions for their future of the country. some are reported to be responsible for yesterday's attack. they are ultraconservative. they want to take libya in one direction. then you have libya as an emerging, potentially-modern society. they want to be integrated with the rest of the world, in particular with europe. and that means -- that's a different vision. so there's this political jockeying in the aftermath of the fall of gadhafi and the united states is in the middle of it. >> this thing turned political fast, partly due to this statement from the embassy released before the taed deadly attack. there it is on your screen. the embassy of the united states
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condemns the efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of muslims as we condemn efforts to defend believers of all religions. so the gop candidate for president was quick to condemn this statement and secretary of state hillary clinton walked this back say iing it wasn't cleared by the the white house. what are the pit fals of politicizing this? >> it's dangerous. it's a little unneshing. i would have preferred we take another political time-out today in light of this tragedy. the ambassador to cairo, the american ambassador is among our most distinguished and outstanding diplomats that we have. she's been through these kinds of episodes before and i think just as we can do more than one thing at one time. we are arkansas dent supporters of freedom of speech, but we understand that what we say, what we film, what we put on the internet has impact.
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and we can find the right balance there. what the embassy was communicating was a recognition that this film, obscure as it was, had royaled civil society in egypt and it was an attempt to communicate not just with the government of egypt and help them understand that what might be represented does not represented as americans overall think about islam or about the middle east. it's a very, very difficult line to navigate. it's unfortunate that mr. romney would attack one of our most distinguished diplomats in the process. >> here's a question now. drones are being sent, we're being told. security is being upped at u.s. insulations around the world. how do we proceed with libya if they can't protect our diplomats? >> well, it's not surprising that coming out of a difficult civil war in transition, libya
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does not yet have the kinds of governmental institutions or capacities needed to protect not only libyan citizens, but also our diplomats and those of other countries. you have a police force, for example, that years ago was there to protect gadhafi and prey on the libyan people. now that police force is under a process of reform and being asked to protect the libyan people and libyan civil society. it's going to take time for libya to develop the kinds of institutions that it needs. it's going to take time for these societies in transition to develop tolerance and peaceful political processes, rather than having people that start with a protest, but it turns into political violence. >> p.j. crowley, thank you very much. more now on this story. we want to go straight to the ground. let's bring in cnn's joe mana on
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the phone. we're now hearing that the consulate may have been deliberately targeted. what are you hearing about what set off this violence? >> reporter: that's what we're hearing here, don. some eyewitnesss do seem to say that this might have been what happened yesterday. they are saying it wasn't really any news about this video that sparked this protest and there were no calls for these protests to end. and this might have been a preplanned attack. we do know that in the eastern city of ben gaz say, around the city of benghazi, a growing movement of radical islamist groups. they are operating in that area. we have seen them carry out attacks against these interests
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in the past. the same u.s. consulate was targeted previously. no casualties in that attack. also in june we saw the convoy of the british ambassador targeted in benghazi. we're hearing today from libyan officials, top government officials that this coincided with the september 11th anniversary and they do believe that this may have been linked to it saying they will not allow libya to be ruled by these groups. government has failed and has had a very difficult time. >> that's our reporter from tripoli. having a little trouble with the telephone. we'll get back to her. as this story unfolds, there's a bigger conversation here. afghan president hamid karzai
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said there could be more deaths. as news of the video gets out and reaches other countries. also what stops the violence, if anything? we'll have more live, next. [ male announcer ] this is anna, her long day teaching the perfect swing
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developing story. joining us is christiane amanpour. also abc news global affairs anchor. as we assess these events in libya and egypt, the killing of the u.s. ambassador and attacks, are these the growing pains of two young democracies? >> i think it's probably a little bit of both. it's the growing pains for sure. according to the latest that we're getting from u.s. intelligence, at least according to cnn reports is that this had been a preplanned attack and was not necessarily due to the film, but perhaps coincided with the protests. we're still not quite sure how that would have played out. perhaps the attack on the consulate in libya was preplanned. having said that, they also say they don't believe that the ambassador chris stevens was a direct target.
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it's interesting to note that in libya, there's an unprecedented show of support for america and americans. polls that have been taken recently show more than 50%, some 54% of libyans supporting the united states because they are thankful that the united states along with britain and france led the nato intervention that liberated them. anyone who has been there knows that and can feel it. what's also very clear, as hillary clinton said and president obama said, that this was a small group. it does not represent the libyan government. it does not represent the libyan people in general, but a small group of extremists who are taking out their constant and consistent anger at the united states in this way. and i think that that's really important to understand. there have been these small groups, whether it was before 9/11, on 9/11 and after 9/11. there have always been these small groups which are determined to be against the
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united states. and this possibly was one of them. and there are concerns by intelligence that al qaeda could be regrouping in places and is making a comeback in iraq, is difficult and dangerous in places like the lawless parts of libya. >> that brings me to my next question. we're seeing signs of this anger spreading. an afghan official told us they may be looking for trouble there. what's your feeling on that? >> reporter: look, there's two different things happening here that happen to be coalescing and merging on this very dangerous highway. if it wasn't preplanned assault, it's coinciding with the violence that's being whipped up after the inciteful of this film that's come from the united states, which is on youtube. we're very concerned about what might happen in afghanistan. we have seen this movie before. we have seen when deliberate provocation from the united states. for instance, from fringe personalities like pastor terry
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jones in florida threatening to burn the koran. it caused deadly riots. we have seen it happen in the netherlands. we have seen what can happen. so people are afraid. people are concerned. but i think we must, again, emphasize that these are being taken by the extremists who a, don't like america, but, b, don't like their own governme s governments. the government that won in libya is a moderate government. the forces that won in libya are moderate forces. in egypt, it's an islamic president, but it's one that talked about a democracy. and today they talked about yes, we believe this video is offensive, but we must not be violent in response. there are these extremists who don't like it at all and who are fighting for their survival and
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will use any excuse, whether it's the film or the anniversary of 9/11, to push their attack. >> exactly. while i have you here christiane, israel is pressuring washington to take a more assertive stance against iran in hopes of containing the nuclear program. is this a clash between benjamin netanyahu? >> i know so much ink has been spilled and so much time has been spent talking about the relationship between these two leaders. it's publically described as frosty. but what i do know is the united states does not want to be driven into a war that it doesn't necessarily want to go in at this time, necessarily. that it wants to make its decisions on what is difficult and dangerous for u.s. national security and of course, it takes israel as its clear ally. it's committed to israel's security. but there seems to be a war of
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words and will in this it public display of differences over what to do about iran and when is the time to do it. the united states still believes that diplomacy can still work out. the sanctions still need to be given time to be effective. even in israel, as you know, don, there's so much discrepancy about what is the best thing to do. and particularly in the military community who don't believe attacking iran is the best way for the country. >> thank you very much. and speaking of the apparent rift between the u.s. and israel, secretary of state hillary clinton says there's no deadline against iran and its nuclear program. so where is the red line here when it comes to a possible military conflict? that's next. with real advice, for real goals. the us bank wealth management advisor can help you. every step of the way.
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we're going to keep you posted on the situation in libya after the killing of the u.s. ambassador christopher stevens. hold on, though. israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu wants president obama to pay more attention to iran and to iran's nuclear program.
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this is the comment from benjamin netanyahu. >> those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before iran don't have a moral right to place a red light before israel. >> who is he talking to? it seems plain to those who watch these things that benjamin netanyahu means washington. he means president obama when he says, quote, those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before iran don't have a moral right to place a red light before israel. there's some terminology there that we'll have to wade through, but it sounds like benjamin netanyahu is saying, okay, washington, either lead, follow, or move out of the way when it comes to handling iran. i want to introduce you to david allen miller. he advised secretary of states of on the middle east. so aaron, red lines and red
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lights. what's benjamin netanyahu talking about here and is he talking directly to america? >> i think he is, and i don't want to trivialize that, but there's a debate being exacerbated by personal differences between the two men. the fact is the israelis see more urgency now and a need for a unilateral strike and they believe their interests are not served by waiting. the president, on the other hand, is not convinced and he may be right that this is a war of necessity right now. so the whole discussion, frankly, in a way are needlessly self-inflicted wounds. there's no reason the u.s. and israel should be discussing publically the issue of red lines. they should be trying to figure out a way to stay on the same page on this one. that's one point. second, i've watched israeli prime ministers and american presidents since carter, which
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is a long time ago. and i tell you, i haven't seen a more dysfunctional pair than these two. the prime minister thinks that president obama is bluntless and doesn't understand israel. and the president thinks benjamin netanyahu is not giving adequate attention to american interests. this needs to be put back in the box. >> when he talks about placing a red light before israel, is he saying that washington is actively dissuading from launching attacks against iran? >> i don't think the president of the united states has ever said to benjamin netanyahu, you will not -- i think the president believes that a strike in the next several months is premature, that the risk to reward ratio of such a strike is going to complicate matters more than simplify them. i think there are ways of
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sending signals. one of the constraints is he wants to keep the president in his corner and on his side. and right now, it's clear that barack obama simply has different priorities and different views. >> so the u.s. is saying that the sanctions are causing pain in iran, which could force iran to cry uncle and back off its nuclear program. hillary clinton said, we are convinced we have more time to focus on these sanctions. we are not setting deadlines against iran. but here's benjamin netanyahu speaking about the sanctions just yesterday. listen to him. >> so far we can say with certainty that diplomacy and sanctions haven't worked. >> so who is right here? are the sanctions against iran having their intended effect? or is there no way to persuade iran, short of going to war? >> you have two possibilities, three actually. you can try to negotiate your way out of that. right now, that's not going to work because they are not
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prepared to do what is necessary to cut a deal. or you can apply sanctions or both. sanctions are very, very harsh. they are causing a great deal of economic pain, but it is not going to be sufficient to stop the iranians from at least acquiring the capacity to produce a weapon. so if negotiations don't work and sanctions aren't working, then you're led to the risky and dangerous default position, which is a strike either by israel or by the united states. and the two men have different sense of timing on when this should happen. one other point needs to be made. the israelis would prefer, i believe, to get the americans not only in their corner, but to see whether or not the administration might be willing to undertake such a strike. we could be much more effective in doing it. it's just that no american president is going to give that kind of commitment. >> very well explained. thank you for joining us. we want to get back to the
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situation in libya. since we're in the middle of a presidential race, it's important to report on how both campaigns are reacting. mitt romney getting a lot of heat. we're going to speak with one of his advisors about whether he regrets anything over the past 12 hours. to the gas stationoing about once a month. drive around town all the time doing errands and never ever have to fill up gas in the city. i very rarely put gas in my chevy volt. last time i was at a gas station was about...i would say... two months ago. the last time i went to the gas station must have been about three months ago. i go to the gas station such a small amount that i forget how to put gas in my car. ♪ tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 like a lot of things, the market has changed, tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 and your plans probably have too. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 at charles schwab, we'll give you personalized recommendations tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 on how to reinvest that old 401(k). tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 so talk to chuck
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call... and lock in your rate for 12 months today. liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy? somehow it always comes to politics. the romney campaign drawing fire for issuing a statement critical of the white house while diplomating missions were under attack overseas. the foreign policy advisor joins us. mitt romney was reacting to a statement released earlier in the day from the u.s. embassy in cairo before the embassy's walls were breached. the embassy of the united states in cairo condemns the continues efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of muslims as we condemn
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offenders of all religions. before we talk, i want to read part of mitt romney's response to the statement. he said, i'm quoting, it's disgraceful that the obama administration's first response was not to condemn attacks on our missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks. my first question is this, last night when this country was in the midst of a diplomatic crisis overseas, our people were in harm's way, is this the time for a candidate for the presidency to speak out in a way that's critical of the government? it couldn't wait? >> well, let me make a few comments to your presentation. one, the statement issued by the u.s. embassy on behalf of the obama administration did apologize for the fact that we
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have free speech and plurlism in america. that statement was reissued after the embassy was breached. it remained on the website. third, when governor romney made his statement of concern that this apology was inappropriate, that we should stand up to our values, it was only then that the white house said we never cleared this. so those are the first facts. secondly, by the time the statement was issued, the breach of sovereign u.s. territory in both benghazi and cairo were over. third, it's the responsibility of our political leaders to stand up for what they think are right. and governor romney doesn't think it's right to apologize that we allow people the freedom of speech. he's not condoning how this might use this freedom. but that's in our constitution, that's our values, that's our
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history. those are the things brave americans have stood for and died for. of course, we have condolences and sympathy for the people that died. they served our country well. >> absolutely. that's the point here instead of focusing on the people that have lost their lives and people in harm's way, we're talking about who should be apologizing for what when most people see that is not the story. thank you for everything you just said, but my initial question was, it couldn't wait? >> well, let me again reiterate. the timeline you suggest was not the same that i just went through. >> i'm not asking about the timeline. it couldn't wait until all of the information -- hang on. let me finish. you didn't answer. i gave you plenty of time when i asked the first time. you gave me three points. you're saying it could not wait,
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yes or no? >> that's a silly question. >> it's not a silly question because now you're having to backtrack now and talk about a statement. it's not a silly question. that's why you're here is to talk about that statement. >> i came here to talk about the failed policies in the middle east, which is what the american people are interested. the failed policies of leading from behind. what you want to do is play g e games. >> i'm not. i'm asking you to answer my question. >> the statement was fine. it was acceptable. it was right. >> i heard you. that's not what i asked you. but we'll move on now. i want to read to you what some high-ranking people are saying. a speech writer for ronald reagan said, i don't feel mr. romney has been doing himself any favors in the the past few hours. sometimes when really bad things
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happen, when hot things happen, cool words, no words is the way to go. so she says your guy didn't do any favors for jumping out in front of this. what's your reaction? >> well, as someone who served for ronald reagan in the white house and assistant to the president for governmental affairs in the white house, i think ronald reagan would have had no problem with governor romney speaking the truth and saying to the american people we shouldn't apologize for our values and we should stand up for what we believe and that the american people deserve a subs standtive question about the failed policies of leading from behind. >> john kerry is calling for mitt romney to apologize. what's your reaction to that? >> you know, it was funny. john kerry, chairman of the foreign affairs committee, in his convention speech attacked governor romney for being like
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president bush and the iraq and afghanistan policies. both of which he voted for. so when the chairman of the foreign affairs committee apologizes for those votes, then he's in a position to ask for others to apologize. >> back to sort of the initial question and how you and i got off on bad foot iing. doesn't this look like romney is trying to use a crisis to his own political advantage rather than thinking about what's best for the situation, standing back, getting the facts and then commenting? >> what's best in the situation is to stand up to our values and being willing to lead from the front. whether it's in egypt or in libya or in syria where 20,000 people have died gruesome deaths from atrocities or whether it's iran close to a nuclear breakout where there's been huge advances
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ir refutably under president obama, whether it's the fact we have a hemorrhaged relationship with our most reliable ally in israel, these are substantive matters that need to be discussed and the dpov nor talked about that and welcomed that discussion and you want to talk about a process issue. because the white house doesn't want to talk about substance. they want to talk about process. >> i would rather not be talking about any of this, about people not diagnose, but because what your candidate did is releasing a statement is timing and tone and had your candidate not done it, we wouldn't be talking about that. you could have done that when he had the press conference today. i've got to run. thank you. >> we look forward to talking about this substance when you're available. >> we'll be back in a moment. you've been busy for a dead man. after you jumped ship in bangkok, i thought i'd lost you. surfing is my life now. but who's going to ....
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back now to the unfolding situation in libya. the attack happened in the nation that has experienced a tidal wave of change in the last year. moammar gadhafi ruled the nation for years. take a look at this it timeline. >> today 20th of october, we are told that gadhafi is dead. the libyan freedom fighters have finally succeeded in throwing
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the curtain on gadhafi's tribe. >> this revolution started peacefully demanding the minimum of legitimate rights. but it was faced with violence and excessive violence so god has put to us what can help us to gain victory. >> the result is as follows. the resolution has unanimously. >> we are interested in
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still in america's interest and security and we will not turn our back on that nor will we rest until those responsible for these attacks are found and brought to justice. >> while we focus on the major political events in the lives of libyans, we should also point out that there have been dozens of incidents including a minor explosion in june. no one was hurt. my next guest says he's concerned there will never be a way to prevent this, quote, child's play in the future. the video at the center of the uproar will spark more violence in the coming days. that's next. wesome place to be. introducing the all-new 2013 chevrolet malibu eco. ♪ sophisticated new styling,
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welcome back, everyone. libya's ambassador to the united states had strong words for those behind the deadly attack at the consulate. the ambassador said, we condemn yesterday's deplorable attack on
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the u.s. consulate and those responsible for it in the strongest terms. the government of libya stands by the u.s. in opposing acts of terrorism. we are committed to bringing the attackers who perpetrated these crimes to justice. it's not clear at this point who attacked the consulate, but there's no question the movie that played a part in the deadly outrage is offensive and some say intentionally so. i'm joined now by abas bozagar. explain to us why this movie you think is intentionally offensive. >> thanks, don. i had a chance to look at some of the clips yesterday. and honestly, this was done with the clear intention of provoking muslims to violence. there are a number of cases where activists in the west promoting their agendas have tried to use muslim ideas in a way to promote their ideas.
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but this film differs in its crude and really demeaning depiction of the prophet muhammad. it was done with a venomous intention. >> it doesn't even look like, to most people, it just looks like a silly movie made on a low budget. you can see when they change the words or the voiceovers. it's intentional. and it's just a dumb movie. that's what it appears to be, but it's far beyond that. >> it's far beyond that in the fact it was dubbed into arabic. had it been somebody's production in their basement just for their own purposes, that would be one thing, but clearly the the launch of this film, the dubbing into arabic and the statements by this individual who was claiming to be the producer of the film are directed in a way to cause violence. >> how do you get americans to understand that? when americans see that, we say,
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we can do whatever satire, pretty much whatever we want to do without harming someone else or hateful speech or threatening someone else. and to have consulates attacked, innocent people attacked, most americans won't understand that. >> let me say the reports coming out today are suggesting that the kons late attack in benghazi may have been preplan ned as a 9/11 anniversary attack. however, that said, masses did go to the street in cairo. people are protesting all over the muslim world and the brotherhood has called for a large march on friday to protest these things. >> the reason i said that because we have seen the prophet mocked before. the dutch cartoonist got death threats in 2011. some down play the car toons toons. they say it's child's play.
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you say it's not. is there anything we can do to stop the violence? >> the fact of the matter is that free speech americans know it comes with responsibility. there are clear red lines that we as a society have decided upon. in western europe and united states, we have decided there are certain kinds of speech that are not protected. in the united states, this is a much wider playing ground than it is in europe. for example, in europe, anti-semitic comments are illegal. here you could have a rally. in europe, pastor terry jones was banned from entering the uk because he was seen as an act to incite public violence. so the idea really is that we have decided as a society what is okay and what is not okay. and we have to come up with the tools to say, you know, these acts of antiislamic propaganda
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are like blood libel. we should not allow it. >> let's talk about the film maker sam basill. as israeli-american. he said he got about 100 people to come up with the film. what do you think is going to happen to him if it's proven it had something to do with it? >> there are reports he's in hiding, but there's also the case that nobody by that name exi exists. so it even adds another layer of controversy to what is happening. and i think the real place that the federal authorities need to look is to pastor terry jones and also the individual morris zedeke. >> thank you. e we appreciate it. sadly we're now hearing how
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